Product Review: Irish Setter Hopkins 6-in. Waterproof Leather Boots

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Red Wing

When Red Wing Shoe Company first released its Irish Setter boots in 1950, the manufacturer created them specifically for hunters. After all, they were named after Irish Setter hunting dogs, due to their exterior color. 

However, within a matter of 10 years, workers of all types, including construction workers, began to use them too, a trend that has continued ever since. The exact same qualities that initially attracted workers to purchase them remain fully apparent to this day as well, from the boots’ durability to their comfort, to their protection from the elements. 

One brand of the manufacturer’s several offerings—Hopkins—has become especially popular over the years. Renowned for its longevity, look and feel, the Hopkins brand currently offers workers six styles to choose from, one of which I recently received in the mail: 83673. 

Upon opening the boots’ box and trying them on for the first time, I immediately noticed a variety of benefits, each of which became more and more apparent the longer I wore them. After wearing these Irish Setter boots for several hours, I—along with other fellow IRONPROS team members—recommend them to you, particularly for the following reasons. 

Dryness for Waterproof Boots

Let’s face it. There’s nothing worse than boots that don’t protect you from the elements, especially torrential downpours and heavy snowfall. Fortunately, by wearing Hopkins 83673 boots, you’ll never have to worry about your feet being wet, as they feature the manufacturer’s UltraDry waterproof technology

A registered trademark of Irish Setter and Red Wing Shoe Company, UltraDry guarantees that you’ll remain dry for hours on end, even if you have to work in steady rain or snowfall. The primary secret behind the technology’s success is this—first off, every boot that features UltraDry has a moisture management lining. And, just as importantly, the boots have various waterproof components too, leading to long-term dryness and, in turn, comfort and high productivity.  

As you know, the more comfortable and dry you are on your jobsite—beginning with your feet—the better you’ll perform your job tasks, as high comfort tends to always lead to high performance. 

Durability 

As a result of the boots’ waterproof technology, they’ll likely be utilized for months, if not years, to come. Protection from the elements tends to lead to longevity after all, especially when it comes to construction boots. Yet, there is another factor associated with the boots’ longevity: their full-grain leather uppers. 

Comprised of well-built leather, the boots have been created for longevity, simply put. In fact, their exteriors aren’t only created for long-term usage, but their interiors are too, from their midsoles to their footbeds.  

As we always mention, you must do your part though, in order to ensure they maintain their intended longevity. Irish Setter recommends that you first remove any mud from the boots’ leather and soles, preferably with saddle soap and water. If you’d prefer to use a tool like an old toothbrush to reach areas that are difficult to access, such as sections in which the boots’ leather uppers are connected with their soles, feel free to do so as well. 

For interior cleaning, you may also utilize a washcloth, in order to wipe away dirt. Each foot bed can be removed as well, prior to being wiped off. While doing so, avoid soaking the boots at all costs. And always, always let them air dry (the significance of this can’t be stressed enough).  

If you aren’t able to dry them fast enough, via air drying, you may also use a boot dryer. Designed specifically for boots that can’t be dried in the sun or with a hairdryer, this type of dryer will ensure your boots’ interiors are gently dried—without causing any long-term damage. 

work boots

Irish Setter Hopkins 6-in. Waterproof Leather Boots. Credit: Goldenrod Photography

Heat Resistance

From time to time, you’ll have to work on very hot surfaces while conducting your job tasks. Far too often, whenever construction workers, like you, work on such surfaces, their boots melt, at least to a degree, resulting in long-term damage.  

This will never be a concern for you though, as long as you’re wearing these waterproof boots. Why? Well, they have HRO soles, which have been created for high heat surfaces and tested to offer full heat resistance, as they’re resistant to melting at a minimum of 475℉. 

Your boots will, consequently, not only endure practically any element you encounter on the job, but your feet will be fully protected too—even from extreme heat. 

High Traction

As a construction worker, is there anything you fear more than falling on the job? Falls are, after all, arguably the leading cause of workplace injuries, as construction workers like yourself encounter virtually every type of surface on the job, from the aforementioned extremely hot surfaces to those that are very, very wet. 

To protect you from injuries associated with wet surfaces, many of which often lead to serious injuries and long-term downtime, the boots feature outsoles, known as Stars and Stripes, that have lug patterns designed to fully enhance your traction and overall stability on the job. Not to mention, they are resistant to chemicals, gas, oil and other substances that tend to be very slippery. Tested to ensure they’re slip resistant, prior to being shipped to customers, the boots also meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards. 

Lightweight and Breathable Leather Boots 

Aside from offering you comfort, due to their water resistance, the Irish Setter boots provide high comfortability, as a result of another characteristic—they’re lightweight, as they only weigh 3 lbs. and 5 oz., a much lower weight than many other similar boots on the market. 

Therefore, they’ll help you maintain high agility on your jobsite, as you’ll be able to easily move from one job task to the next. And, since the boots have removable polyurethane footbeds, you’ll have comfort throughout your work boots, along with high breathability. It won’t matter when you have to wear them either. Whether it’s the middle of winter or summer, you’ll be highly comfortable during every season, as you’ll have the breathability and lightweight you need. 

As an example of their comfort, I personally wore the boots for a few hours on a hot summer day without any discomfort whatsoever. My feet weren’t sweaty at all, as they maintained their dryness throughout the entire duration of time in which I wore them. At the same time, they felt light and retained their breathability for several hours, as I hardly even noticed I was wearing them after a short amount of time had passed.  

Protection from Electrical Hazards 

I have already discussed the ways in which the work boots protect you from water, whether you’re encountering heavy rains, high snowfall accumulation or hot summer days (possibly leading to sweat without them). And I’ve shared how they’ll minimize your fall potential, as they’re resistant to slippery substance like chemicals, gas and oil. But what about electrical hazards? Will they protect you from them, too? In short, yes! 

Designed to meet ASTM safety standards yet again, with regards to electrical hazards as well, the boots will offer you peace of mind as you work around—and with—electrical hazards. Such peace of mind is directly associated with their ability to protect you from electrical hazards, yet another aspect that enables the boots to stand out from the crowd. 

Support 

As a result of the boots’ midsoles, which feature steel shanks, you’ll also have high, reinforced arch support, enabling you to comfortably stand on your feet all day long. Regardless of how healthy you are and how good your posture is, arch support is critical, as it helps you maintain your foot health, enhance your posture and increase your overall comfort as you stand on rough terrain and walk considerable distances. Simply put, the more arch support you can receive, the better, and these boots provide more than many other offerings on the market. 

In addition to their midsoles, the leather boots have soft toes that will further increase your foot comfort as you complete tasks in all sorts of areas. The terrain won’t matter, nor will the amount of time you spend on your feet, as you’ll be able to complete practically any task without ever having to worry about your short- and long-term comfort. 

Variety 

The significance of variety, with regards to work boots, shouldn’t be overlooked either. To ensure overall comfort, you need to have as much variety as possible, concerning sizes and widths, thereby enabling you to have the best fit possible. And, luckily for construction workers like yourself, the Irish Setter boots offer considerable variety. 

First, they’re available in two widths, regular and wide, thus providing users with wider feet an option they can consider purchasing as well. And second, they’re offered in 13 sizes, ranging from 7 to 14. As a result, practically anyone can wear them. 

Should You Purchase Irish Setter Hopkins Waterproof Boots? 

Unquestionably, yes. Their dryness is arguably one of their most vital aspects, if not the most critical. Due to their UltraDry waterproof technology, your feet will remain dry and comfortable, while your productivity will also be high. 

At the same time, their durability will typically be high too, not only as a result of their dryness, but their overall construction as well, as they’re comprised of leather exteriors, along with well-built interiors. For further longevity, they’re also resistant to extremely high temperatures, ensuring they won’t melt, even if you have to walk on very hot surfaces. Just remember to clean them properly, and you’ll have a pair of boots that should last for years. 

Along with their UltraDry waterproof technology and HRO soles, the boots have Stars and Stripes outsoles too, which are resistant to chemicals, gas, oil and other substances that tend to be very slippery. In turn, your potential for falls that, more likely than not, would have otherwise caused long-term injuries and downtime, will diminish. 

In addition to reducing the likelihood of falls considerably, the boots, which meet ASTM safety standards, will protect you from electrical hazards, too. Consequently, you’ll have peace of mind as you wear them on slippery or rough terrain, as well as around or near hazardous materials. 

Highly breathable as well, due to their lightness, the boots can also be worn for several hours at a time without hardly being noticed. Therefore, you’ll be able to work long shifts and pick up overtime hours without ever having to worry about your overall comfortability. 

For additional comfort, the boots offer high arch support too, resulting in enhanced foot health and posture, no matter where you have to work, including very rough terrain. And, finally, they provide a variety of options, concerning sizes and widths, enabling you to choose a pair of boots that’s the most suitable for you. 

In conclusion, the waterproof leather boots will offer you the comfort, durability and protection you’ve been searching for—both now and, potentially, well into the future. 

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